Coaching whirlwind: Foxes engage in steady series of hires

June 2017 Posted in Community, Sports

By James Day

There has been a flurry of sports activity at Silverton High in the past few weeks. And it’s not limited to the district and state competition going on in eight sports.

The Foxes have been hard at work hiring new coaches in football, boys basketball and boys soccer. Here are the changes:


John Mannion moves on to a new school in Beaverton after seven successful seasons at Silverton that included a 57-20 record and three trips to the Class 5A semifinals.

The Foxes have hired Josh Craig, an Oregon State University graduate, who is in his third year teaching English at the high school. He led the freshmen football team to an undefeated season last fall and was on the sidelines with Mannion and his other assistants on Friday nights.

“Bringing a fun, positive energy to the situation is really important,” Craig said. “Don’t focus on anything that won’t make you a better team or a better coach. I’m extremely thankful for what coach Mannion set in place. He knew how to do it right, but I bring a lot to the table as well.”

“I love him to death,” said SHS athletic director Wade Lockett, who will be the principal this fall. “He’s great for the kids, he’s great for the sport. It will be great to see that youthful energy during the season.”

Boys basketball

Jamie McCarty, who led Stayton High to the Class 4A finals in 2007, has taken over for Steve Roth, who led the Foxes to the 2015 Class 5A title. McCarty left coaching after that 2007 season and went into administration. He serves in the Silver Falls School District as principal for Victor Point and Evergreen.

“I knew at some point I would get back into it,” McCarty said. “It was really tough to give it up back in 2007, but I had a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old and I really wanted to put all I had into raising them and our family. Now my 7-year-old will be a senior and my 3-year-old with be an eighth-grader.

That senior is Brooke McCarty, the point guard for Silverton girls squads that have made back-to-back appearances in the state Class 5A championship game, winning it all in a 28-0 season in 2016.

“The passion for coaching basketball and teaching young men how to become better people has never left. Timing is everything, and the Silverton job opened. It was really my family that encouraged me to apply. Once I had their support and the district’s support I was all in on pursuing becoming a head coach again.”

“Steve Roth is an amazing coach and replacing him is a tall order,” Lockett said, “but Jamie is a known commodity. We know what we’re going to get with Jamie – tough, disciplined, hard worker. There will be no ‘who is this guy period’? He’s ready to hit the ground running and serve kids really well.”

Boys soccer

Kyle Calder, who led the Foxes to the round of 16 in the past two seasons, is moving to Corvallis to work on his master’s degree at Oregon State University and coach at Crescent Valley.

Derek McElfresh, who already serves multiple roles for the district and high school, is adding boys soccer coach to his list. McElfresh has spent 11 years at the high school and coached the Foxes’ girls squad from 2006-08. He serves as district assessment and communications coordinator, manages web and Facebook operations and supervises the yearbook.

The timing was important for McElfresh. He is just about to finish his master’s in creative writing at Seton Hall University.

“Last year the team saw some great successes and we’d like to build on that despite losing some key players to graduation,” McElfresh said. “I’d like the program to be known for an exceptional work ethic both on and off the field – that we’ll develop student-athletes who give everything they’ve got to the game and then do the same thing in the classroom the next day.”

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